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My story

Ditched

A while ago I met this guy Matt, and we went out a few times. We made a really fantastic couple, except that he was a couple of years older than me.

None of my mates at school can drive yet and they were impressed that Matt used to drive me round in his car. So when I spotted my mate Helen while we were driving out to the show I leaned over to honk the horn to get her attention.

Unfortunately my bracelet caught Matt's sleeve and tugged the wheel, just as a car was coming in the other direction. Matt managed to swerve out of the way, but his wheels caught in some loose gravel at the side of the road and we slid into a ditch.

Nobody was hurt and there wasn't much damage except for one of the wheels – though that cost a lot more than I thought it would. Matt didn't really speak to me after it happened; he just told me to wait out of the way while he called a tow truck, and then he called one of his mates to come out and give me a lift home.

Matt called a couple of days later and ended it, saying that he thought the age gap between us was a bit much. I'm so annoyed with myself – it was such a kiddie thing to do; I don't know why I acted so stupid.

Annalise, 16 years

Belted

I was driving along this country road on the way up to my sister's house for the weekend. There was a lorry in front of me, but it was going quickly so I was able to go at a good speed too.

All of a sudden, this four-wheel drive car pulled out from behind a hedge, straight out in front of me. I slammed on the brakes but I couldn't avoid hitting it. The impact made a really loud 'crunch'. The next thing I really remember is the driver of the other car knocking on my window. He wasn't hurt at all; he just kept apologising and saying that he hadn't seen me behind the lorry and that he'd called an ambulance.

I couldn't say anything for ages and was really scared. It was painful to breathe and my neck hurt so much that at first I thought it was broken.

It turned out I had whiplash and bruised ribs. The paramedics were great, though, and told me I was really lucky. If I hadn't been wearing my seat belt the crash would have been much more serious – it could have killed me.

Vatsana, 18 years

100%

I used to go to this really dodgy pub after football with my mates. We didn't like it much but everything else was ages away.

After I passed my tests I got a car and could get all six of us in there, so I'd drive us to a better pub. It meant I couldn't drink much since I had to drive home again, but that was okay because this place had really good food – and there were always a few girls around to chat to.

We'd only been going there a couple of weeks when the police stopped me on my way home and I got done for drink-driving. I was really hacked off about it; because I wasn't drunk or anything – I'd only had a few pints and I'd eaten a load of food. In the end I lost my licence and ended up having to sell my car.

Then, last week, we were back at our usual pub – the dodgy one – and I was telling the owner how I'd lost my licence. I thought he'd side with me, but instead he asked me if I'd drink two pints before I played a game. Obviously I wouldn't, and I started telling him that it was completely different, because things always happen fast in football and you have to be 100% to react quickly enough and make instant decisions.

As I was saying all this he was just nodding at me, and then I realised what he was getting at – that the same goes for driving.

Jack, 19 years

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